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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 4;8(12):e80861. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080861. eCollection 2013.

The kinetics of G2 and M transitions regulated by B cyclins.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.


B cyclins regulate G2-M transition. Because human somatic cells continue to cycle after reduction of cyclin B1 (cycB1) or cyclin B2 (cycB2) by RNA interference (RNAi), and because cycB2 knockout mice are viable, the existence of two genes should be an optimization. To explore this idea, we generated HeLa BD™ Tet-Off cell lines with inducible cyclin B1- or B2-EGFP that were RNAi resistant. Cultures were treated with RNAi and/or doxycycline (Dox) and bromodeoxyuridine. We measured G2 and M transit times and 4C cell accumulation. In the absence of ectopic B cyclin expression, knockdown (kd) of either cyclin increased G2 transit. M transit was increased by cycB1 kd but decreased by cycB2 depletion. This novel difference was further supported by time-lapse microscopy. This suggests that cycB2 tunes mitotic timing, and we speculate that this is through regulation of a Golgi checkpoint. In the presence of endogenous cyclins, expression of active B cyclin-EGFPs did not affect G2 or M phase times. As previously shown, B cyclin co-depletion induced G2 arrest. Expression of either B cyclin-EGFP completely rescued knockdown of the respective endogenous cyclin in single kd experiments, and either cyclin-EGFP completely rescued endogenous cyclin co-depletion. Most of the rescue occurred at relatively low levels of exogenous cyclin expression. Therefore, cycB1 and cycB2 are interchangeable for ability to promote G2 and M transition in this experimental setting. Cyclin B1 is thought to be required for the mammalian somatic cell cycle, while cyclin B2 is thought to be dispensable. However, residual levels of cyclin B1 or cyclin B2 in double knockdown experiments are not sufficient to promote successful mitosis, yet residual levels are sufficient to promote mitosis in the presence of the dispensible cyclin B2. We discuss a simple model that would explain most data if cyclin B1 is necessary.

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